Greek yogurt company Chobani granted $25,000 to seven startups it selected for the second class of the Chobani Food Incubator (CFI)—a program created to support new companies that are “disrupting, innovating, and inspiring new food categories in the United States.” Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said that hundreds of companies across the country were considered for the lucrative program. “These seven companies each have something special and unique,” Ulukaya said. One of the CFI participants is California-based vegan ice cream brand Snow Monkey, which currently produces two banana-based, superfood-infused flavors: Goji Berry and Cacao. Other plant-forward startups include vegan popsicle company Chloe’s Fruit Pops, packaged meal brand Grainful, low-sugar beermaker Farmer Willie’s, saffron purveyor Rumi Spice, and tea company Pique Tea Crystals. “I can’t wait to have these companies at Chobani to see how we can help them on their journey and welcome them to our family,” Ulukaya said. Earlier this year, dairy company Danone acquired WhiteWave (parent company of dairy-free brands Silk, So Delicious, and Vega) for $12.5 billion in an effort to capitalize on the growing plant-based trend—and to simultaneously divest in dairy.
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